We evaluate the impact of the 2009 Cash for Clunkers program on short-and medium-run auto purchases. Our empirical strategy exploits variation across U.S. cities in ex ante exposure to the program as measured by the number of "clunkers" in the city as of summer 2008. We find that the program induced the purchase of an additional 370,000 cars in July and August 2009. However, we find strong evidence of reversal; high clunker counties bought fewer autos in the 10 months after the program expired, which offset most of the initial purchases. We find no evidence of an effect on employment, house prices, or household default rates in cities with higher exposure to the program.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics